Friday, September 08, 2006

The Path to Deception

There's a lot of hoopla over ABC/Disney's upcoming docudrama, The Path to 9/11. Personally, I think it's still a little too fresh on my mind so I won't be watching it, just as I didn't go see the movie The World Trade Center. Flight 93 was difficult enough to watch. I guess I'm a little sick of those who have been using 9/11 for financial and/or political gain. It seems that anytime someone invokes the 9/11 tragedy these days it's to make some sort of political point. I know I know... that's the way the cookie crumbles in this brave new world where money and political power are the new Gods. But still.

For me, 9/11 represents the end of America as we knew it. It was the beginning and the end of so much. I look back on the prosperity of the 90's and I remember how it felt to say "The President is da bomb" in a phone conversation and not wonder if someone in some dark, dank bunker somewhere was making a note of it. I remember what it was like to fill my gas tank up for $15 and take a few college courses for a couple hundred bucks. I remember that America still had the right to say "shame on you" to countries who tortured and indefinitely jailed their people. I remember a less cynical country where conservatives and liberals could have a lively debate at the corner pub and buy each other a beer at the end of it. I remember an America that went to war only as a last resort and a time when terrorism, WMD's, Iraq and wiretapping were not part of the public discourse.

We are certainly not that America any longer and I not only mourn for the lives of those lost on 9/11 but for my country... a country which quickly lost its way in the confusion and complexities of a post 9/11 world.

So I won't be watching the docudrama. And I'm glad because from what I am hearing, it's a load of crappola anyway. When Bill O'Reilly agrees with Democrats, you know something's rotten in the District of Columbia.

For one thing, the miniseries cost forty million dollars but no one seems to know who paid for it. It will be run without commercials so there are no ad sponsors. And no one seems to be coming forward and saying "It's me... I paid for it." For another thing, ABC sent out 900 copies but not a one went to the people portrayed in the dramatisized scenes, or in fact to any liberals or progressives at all. The pre-released versions went to conservative journalists and even a few right-wing bloggers. The film supposedly slams the Clinton adminstration... Bill himself, Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright... but none were given copies even after they asked nicely. All three have said that from what they've heard, the way the events are portrayed in the docudrama are not only a little off, but complete fabrications. Prominent historians have written ABC and Disney to ask them to please refrain from airing the show because they are concerned about the airing of a ficticious docudrama that misleads the American people about one of the most dramatic events in our history. Even conservatives are weighing in:

"Ok, we’re talking about the run up to 9-11 and this movie that they’re re-cutting now and they should because it puts words in the mouth of real people, actors playing real people that they didn’t say and its wrong." [O’Reilly radio show, 9/8/06] - Bill O'Reilly

"I think that if you have a scene, or two scenes, or three scenes, important scenes, that do not have any bearing on reality and you can edit them, I think they should edit them." [MSNBC, 9/6/06] - Brent Bozell, founder and president of the conservative Media Research Center

"If people wanted to be critical of the Clinton years there’s things they could have said, but the idea that someone had bin Laden in his sights in 1998 or any other time and Sandy Berger refused to pull the trigger, there’s zero factual basis for that." [CNN, 9/7/06]- Richard Miniter, conservative author of “Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror”

"Look, “The Path to 9/11″ is strewn with a lot of problems and I think there were problems in the Clinton administration. But that’s no reason to falsify the record, falsify conversations by either the president or his leading people and you know it just shouldn’t happen." [CNN, 9/8/06] - Bill Bennett, conservative author, radio host, and TV commentator

"When you put somebody on the screen and say that’s Madeleine Albright and she said this in a specific conversation and she never did say it, I think it’s slanderous, I think it’s defamatory and I think that ABC and Disney should be held to account." [Fox, 9/8/06] - Chris Wallace, Fox News Sunday anchor

In light of ABC and Disney's docudrama and in light of the recent events involving the New York Times and the illegal NSA wiretaps (executive editor Bill Keller knew about the illegal NSA wiretaps before the 2004 elections but he sat on the story because... well, because the GOP asked him to)... in light of all of these revelations, can we please put the "liberal media" myth to rest now? Thanks.